College Prep English 11
Crucible characters
Crucible Questions
Gandhi "Nonviolent Resistance" speech
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Crucible Questions

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Discussion Questions


  1. A symbol is an object or an action that stands for something else. Writers use symbolism to suggest an idea, quality, belief or value. What do the following represent – golden candlesticks, cows roaming Salem’s streets, Proctor’s signature, and the poppets?


  1. Discuss the historical context for the play and its significance. Be sure to include McCarthyism and the issue of blacklisting. Consult: and



  1. The word “crucible”, which comes from the Latin prefix crux meaning cross, is defined as 1) a container of metal or refractory material employed for heating substances to high temperatures and 2) a severe, searching test or trial. How do these two definitions apply to the play? What is their significance?


  1. The Crucible is a modern morality play. As in the Greek tragedies, the tragic hero must die. What is a tragic hero? How is John Proctor a tragic hero? Why must he die? What is his tragic flaw (the attribute that leads to his fall)?



  1. The word “proctor” means an official charged with various duties especially with maintenance of good order. Is John Proctor appropriately named?


  1. If you were John Proctor, what would you have done at the end of the play? Why?


  1. Was Arthur Miller successful in fulfilling his intent/purpose for writing The Crucible? (What was his intent/ purpose? What was he hoping to achieve?)


  1. As an audience, what are we meant to learn from this play? Consult:


  1. Do we seek the truth as a society? Explain. What historical/ social events resemble the Salem Witch Trials and McCarthyism?

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